tv Newsmakers with Representative John Yarmuth CSPAN April 23, 2017 10:00am-10:34am EDT
♪ announcer 1: there on c-span this morning, newsmakers is next with democratic congressman john yarmuth of kentucky. then john kelly talks about national security threats and top priorities for his department. later supreme court oral arguments in the separation of church and state. is congressmans john yarmuth also announced during the break he will be a candidate for reelection, a seventh turn if you successful -- term if you successful. that may ask two reporters who
will ask questions. covers budget and appropriations process for bond -- for bloomberg. >> the current funding expires on april 28. are we a week away from a government shutdown? john yarmuth: i think it is highly unlikely. most likely we will see a short-term continuing resolution a week or two. they will provide enough time for negotiations to take place. i think both sides have things they would like to see in any funding mechanism over the last five months of the fiscal year, so i suspect we will look for time to do that rather than get that all accomplished in three days next week. eric: republicans control the white house and both houses of congress, but i hear some democratic colleagues saying democrats have the upper hand, like it was under president
obama. do you agree with that? john yarmuth: i think we have a lot of negotiating power. the rebuilt -- every deal in the have beenme of them made of minority votes. they will need to make get democratic votes in the house and senate. so i suspect what republicans want to put in this funding mechanism that we don't like, i think we have got the advantage on those issues and also possibly on the one thing we would like to have, which is authorization for funding for the cautionary reductions in health care. erik: do you think you can get that in the bill? john yarmuth: i think we are on a good negotiating position. as you mentioned, republicans
are in charge of the entire government now, and nobody is going to confuse who is to blame if the government gets shut down and the ensuing disruption to the economy that would mean. i suspect republicans want to make sure that they get something done a little bit more than we do. erik: and a finer point, one of the elements of compromise i am hearing about, democrats may be willing to increase the defense budget using more funding as a way of making a compromise. is that something you would be prepared to support? john yarmuth: it depends. when they proposed their skinny budget last month, ask for $54 billion for defense and a 54 cut in -- $54 billion non-defense, if it comes at the cost of any reduction in non-dispense discretionary --
defense discretionary, that would be a starter. if there can be a proportionate increase in both defense and nondefense, but is something i can support. erik: one more thing, it looks like the border wall is a big issue. how do you see that getting solved? john yarmuth: i would doubt it. i really think at heart there is not a real big appetite for border funding even on the republican side eerie we have got a lot of border state republicans who are unenthusiastic about building a wall on their borders. i'm not sure that will be a sticking point. i don't the administration would like to see it, but i don't think congress is hungry for it. kristina: if i could go back to the cautionary reduction, aca payments, how long do you think democrats would see the payments appropriated, given the president has indicated he might withdraw paying them on the
administration side? is that something you would like to see permanent or just for the rest of fiscal year 2017? john yarmuth: i would like to see the authorization be permanent, but realistically that is not doable. we want to make sure there is no disruption in the individual anurance market based on embryo -- appeal in the court ortem were the case rests other move on the party administration. we want to make sure we haven't for the rest of this fiscal year, then we -- have it for the rest of this fiscal year. kristina: and on the affordable care act, there is new discussion from tom mcarthur that looks like republicans are trying to revive their talks on that bill. anything that you could support, and you think the
republicans have a shot at getting this across the finish line? john yarmuth: the answer to your first question is i find it hard to believe they can propose anything i would support. what we saw with the last episode a few weeks ago was that the matter what they tried to do, it resulted in millions of americans losing their coverage, and significant portions of people experiencing dramatic increases in premiums. i don't see how they can avoid that even by going to the so-called high risk pools, which is at the core of this compromise they are trying to propose. i don't think there will be any support for a new proposal from highlyts, and i find it unlikely republicans will be able to muster the 216 votes they need either. erik: your own party leaders have said there are problems with obamacare. president trump dropped his
resistance on repeal. you are probably going to work with him. what will your role be in the coming weeks to craft an alternative democratic legit? what are your thoughts on that, single-payer option? how would you propose fixing obamacare if you had the ability to do so? john yarmuth: first of all, i am a strong supporter of single-payer. i would love to do that, but our leadership is not prepared to focus on single-payer right now. i think most of the caucus would say, make sure we don't lose ground in the health care area. i don't think we will be proposing single-payer. in our budget, we will talk about the cautionary reduction, making sure funding was therefore -- there for that.
no other provisions act of sabotage if we put the risk corridors back in, being the payments made to insurance companies to guarantee they did not suffer from adverse selection getting a disproportionate amount of sick patients versus healthy ones. that is where we probably want but evenour budget, though i think a majority of the democratic caucus would get behind these things, we are not ready to go that way yet. kristina: are there any taxes in the 40 will care act that you would want to see -- in the affordable care act that you would want to see a race? some democrats have proposed a few of those like the medical device tax. john yarmuth: i have never understood this controversy over the medical device tax. here you are talking about one of the most profitable industries on the face of the
earth, a tax that was agreed upon in the negotiations of the affordable care act, and what would end up if we removed that of thee only segment medical university that doesn't help a for the cost of the -- universe that doesn't help pay for the cost of health care. drug companies, everybody else is helping contribute to the cost of the program. i have no interest at all in changing the medical device tax. the catalytic tax, that is something you get a lot of bipartisan support for repealing at this point. one thing i have always said and suggested to my republican colleagues that they ought to do is repeal the mandate, because probably democrats would support repealing the lawyer mandate. we don't needed to make the law work effectively. -- need it to make the work effective.
there would not be an incentive for employers to start playing around with workers' hours and cutting back their hours and so forth. if i was a republican, i would repeal the employer mandate and color of victory. host: we are at the halfway point. erik: returning to the subject of tax, as part of the alternative budget, you will have the opportunity to lay out tax. do you see the advancing corporate proposal as a part of the alternative budget? john yarmuth: we will be proposing additional tax revenue, but we will not be specific about it. we don't need to be specific about where we would get it in our budget. erik: your former budget committee member mick mulvaney,
now the white house director, ,ecently on cb in bc -- cnbc said he doesn't care what tax proposal does to deficit. he said is more important people keep the money they earn, and talked about wealth transfer, which was inefficient. can you talk about that? john yarmuth: net is a friend of mine, -- mick is a friend of mine, and i thought it would be hard to reconcile philosophy and principles with the administration. this is one of those areas where he will have a hard time doing it. so i think to enter into a comprehensive tax reform youiative, basically saying will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit and the debt is something that i think will not sit very well with a big portion of the republicans
in congress. they have to consider what kind of impact of will have on their ability to get votes in the congress. ultimately the tax reform could get some democratic votes, but they will have a hard time if they blow a hole in the deficit with that attitude. as lawmakersht were leaving for a recess, president trump had just launched strikes against syria. do you think there will be a real debate about this when you return? i know lawmakers say the president needs to consult with congress, but it has not been appetite to take a tough vote on authorizing military force. you think that will change now? john yarmuth: i think congress needs to be engaged. we need to assert our prerogatives under the war powers act. when president obama had authorization in 2013, we got the most disproportionate
constituent response in my 200 to oners, against involvement. that was consistent reaction in democratic and republican offices. so i think the public opinion may have shifted slightly. i don't think there is much interest among the american people that heavy involvement in the middle east, certainly in syria, so i think we have to have the debate. i would call on speaker ryan majority leader mcconnell to demand a vote not on just going forward but perspective of activityng military and retroactively approving this event. members have to go on record approving what the president did. were to reviveu this debate about military
force, would there be constructing -- specific constraints they would want to put on the president, the u.s. ground troops, or the timeline that could be authorized for? would you want to set it at a certain point? john yarmuth: situation around the world is so volatile, it is very difficult to establish parameters of the use of force. things can change on a moments notice. the president has the ability to act in emergency fashion to defend the country and then become the congress minority. i am not worried about drawing lines. i just want the trump administration to come to congress and say, here is -- we want the authority to commit under whatever terms they compose and let them consider them. i am not sure i am in a position personally to say what kind of conditions i would want.
i want to see what they have in mind. are there things you can see working with president trump to get accomplish? he has mentioned infrastructure. are there other things you see congressmen and the president getting together from a democratic point of view? john yarmuth: i am seeing less forless -- fewer prospects collaboration. infrastructure is a natural. we would have a difference on the funding of it according to what we have heard out of the white house. we don't want this to be investor driven and investor manifested -- benefiting proposal. we wanted to be something where the american people through their governments at every level decide what be to be built, but we can work with the white
house. i would welcome that opportunity. we can do criminal justice reform on a bipartisan basis, and they wanted to encourage -- engage on immigration reform. i know that bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform can be done if the republicans have the courage to say, let's solve a very am a very serious problem in a comprehensive way. i know we can do it because it was done. we finally got our bill to the floor, even though we thought we had a majority to pass, and the senate had passed a bipartisan bolt -- bill. so those are the three if the white house is interested. host: during the break there were a number of town hall meetings around the country, and some of them quite volatile. activists on the democratic side of insist there be no compromise with democrats of the trump administration. what do you see as the power of
the activists going forward, and what will be successful? is anarmuth: i think this incredible opportunity for democrats, but more importantly it is an incredible opportunity for the reassertion of the act of democracy. when a health-care proposal from the republicans was beaten back a few weeks ago, it wasn't because of us and the congress it was because people rose up and made their opinions known and their passion known. we are seeing that everywhere. the thing that is assuring to me is that while many people involved in the individual movements and others have particular issues about whether it is gun safety or immigration reform or lgbtq rights or voting rights or can't find finance -- campaign finance or other issues, the administration
understand that unless we win control of legislative countries , nobody gets what they want. so there is a much greater willingness to kind of accept differences on certain issues with the greater goal in mind. just the other night, bernie sanders was in louisville with tom perez. there come together to fight back tour, and the response was amazing. that was the theme of it. we need a big tent party, and if we do, allow this energy to permeate the party, we will have a good chance of taking back the congress next year and state legislatures around the country. erik: on activism, do you see the democratic aggressive factor is helping you address the state budget cuts trump is proposing, 30% to state?
do yourself your -- see yourself being successful? john yarmuth: absolutely. virtually everyone who observed that are looked at the budget set is dead on arrival when it was issued. -- said it was dead on arrival when it was issued. 30% thoughts at the state department and 20% cuts at the blocknd the community grants that fund meals on wheels , totally defunding national endowment for the arts, humanities, and the corporation for public broadcasting. does programs and entities -- those programs and entities have huge support in red and blue districts. that was -- i know some people called it the opening bid in the
budget negotiations. to be honest, that was a mick mulvaney-is fired document and inspiredhing that -- document and not something that reflects where the president is. kristina: do you think house republicans can craft and pass a budget of their own? last year they could not, but there is a carrot dangling wanting the reconciliation to pass the tax reform bill, but there are divisions over spending levels and what priorities they want to see. do you think they will be able to come together this time? john yarmuth: i would bet against it. it is only can say, i would bet against it. kristina: why is that? john yarmuth: for most of the reasons you mentioned. they have total differences. they are not going to get very close, i would not think, to a
budget democrats can support. if they don't insist on cuts to match increases in defense spending, if they increase in defense spending which you know the annual republican budget is going to do, and don't have significant increases on nondefense, you will get no democratic support. and the other, you will lose republicans. dynamics are not there for reaching republican votes, and they would have to have just republican votes on the budget. erik: talking about the con down to a government shutdown -- countdown, you also have one to the kentucky derby? john yarmuth: in my office we have a countdown that starts 365 days out. 20th, so we are 16 days away. i look forward to the derby
saturday night started after the show airs. thunder over louisville, one of the largest fireworks displays in the world, it draws close to one million people. then we have about 90 different events over the next two weeks leading up to the first saturday in may and the greatest 10 minutes in sports. this community is revving up. the burden is flowing. host: that seems like a good way to end. there is no appetite for a government shutdown, despite all the differences in the republican party and the other two parties. that is the message you want to leave with viewers this week? absolutely.: everybody learned their lesson in 2013. host: thank you for being with us on newsmakers. we appreciate your time. john yarmuth: thanks for having me. host: you talked to a lot of other members and their staff.
is the correct there is no appetite for standing firm on this budget, even if it means a temporary shutdown? erik: there is some posturing going on with negotiations. the white house is saying, we have to have some win. the theory would be the president would veto a bill if he did not get a win. but will he redo of bill and shut down the government? it will be his 100th day in office. that would be an empty threat. but there does seem to be a compromise on the table to allow both to frame a win, which is the way things work. it depends on if things would come together in time or you need a short-term stopgap. kristina: my consensus is there is not a lot of appetite for a shutdown on capitol hill. maybe a strong phrase, since we have seen house republicans fight the same fights over again , but this particular fight is not one they want to pick. it is a new president, new
administration, not clear that they have quite the same desire to avoid a shutdown or near shutdown in the dramatic headlines that would generate. host: people needed a timeout. two weeks ago, things were pretty acrimonious in this town particularly on the senate side of the senate confirmation process for neil gorsuch. your thoughts when they return? will the temperature be as high? is there a nap remise for, -- appetite for compromise? a messy: it could be week, and the reason is that the 100 day mark puts pressure on the white house to get a win on the board. sounds like they want that to be on the health care bill, and is not clear if they can get that. if you tie up a big part of the week fighting over the health care bill when you have a
government shutdown looming, you risk running out of time. say onewould also comedy is the appropriations committee. they do their work behind the scenes, and there is a lot of agreement they know how to compromise, and they have to produce these bills or some version of that every year. sometimes they, sure to do a stopgap, but they are working along. they say, leave us alone, we will have a deal can coalesce around. committee sayhe trump is a wildcard, and if he reads the deal, he could put a stop to it. kristina: i agree, and if the appropriations members are the only ones who voted to never have a government shutdown or anything close to it, the trick is they need to pass the whole house and the whole senate. that is where we can run into problems. host: what are they saying at this point?
have they been active during the break? are they prepared to compromise or holder gaunt -- hold their ground? vote against the bill. they don't have much of a seat at the table because leadership goes to democrats immediately to craft a bill. the freedom caucus has been involved in trying to revive the obamacare bill from our reporting. mosteir efforts in the recent days have been trying to bring that back next week. host: what do they want to look like? erik: they want the bill essentially to weaken incorrect -- insurance company regulations. cheaper health plans. they are concerned with the high cost of premiums and believe that basically weakening regulations that have governed everything from pre-existing conditions to community health
ratings would do that. democrats are coming back and saying, people will buy the plans thinking they are conservative -- they are covered, but it is wrong. so within the republican party's , there is a compromise on the table a couple days that would allow states to opt out of the regulations. that could theoretically work because members from northeast states who are moderate component built-in -- moderate republicans say my states still have coverage. the plan did not have the votes to pass. host: tax reform and health care were supposed to be of a piece per republicans and the trump administration. i am wondering what the concern in the town is about the debt, because we heard from mr. yarmuth that their grounds for compromise would be no cuts in discretionary were few cuts in discretionary, -- or few cuts in
discretionary, so that's pounds -- sounds like more spending overall. where is the concern for members of congress? kristina: i think it is really low on their list of priorities these days. that is because it is not a priority of president trump, not something he talks about on the campaign trail, does not want to touch social security spending or tiedemann's at all. you see it -- title mints at all. all.tlements at you have not seen it be a driving factor in these talks. that could change, but unless the president were to engage on it, when you make cuts that hard and painful, and you avoid that, it is easier for everybody. erik: there will be more clarity in late may with the legit release for 2018 -- budget
release for 2018. many republicans have tried to have a balance in 10 years. the budget will not balance in 10 years. it will be a signal that deficit is no longer the top irt. host: what will that faye to the market? erik: generally they consider arrival advisory at best. there were some reporting i have done that show the budget will not have a complete tax reform plan in it, and that is something the markets are very sensitive to. they want a tax cut to the extent that the budget just show some numbers but no details, that could promote market reaction. host: thank you for being with us. it will be a very busy week for capitol hill. erik: thank you so much. kristina: thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] announcer 1: tonight on
"afterwords," a member of the freedom caucus discusses his , howdrain the swamp washington corruption is worse than you think. >> when you arrive in d.c., and you have the surroundings i described earlier, you get very comfortable in that situation. you don't want to give up those comforts. the way you continue to earn those comforts is to spend more money and to grow government and cannot solve problems -- not solve problems look for those programs whether they are efficient or effective to take credit for those programs. so many of the members of congress are here. it is the best job they have ever had, the highest paying job they have ever had, and is a job they do not want to give up. their reelection is more
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we will devastate your networks, deplete your ranks, and sees your property. we will not concede a single block or a street corner to your vicious tactics. announcer 2: c-span programs are available at c-span.org, on the homepage, and searching the video library. announcer 1: next, homeland security secretary john kelly talks about national security threats and top priorities for his department. topics include transnational organized crime, border security, homegrown terrorism, and cyber security. from george washington university, this is an hour. [applause] mr. knapp: good morning. good morning, everyone. welcome to the george washington univer.